We all experience stress in our lives. Often, this stems from the feeling that we’re unable to meet the standards that the world has imposed on us.
To deal with stress properly, you should first learn about the different types of stress. Different kinds may require different ways of managing them.
What is stress
There is no comprehensive medical definition of stress. Experts still often disagree about whether it is the cause or the result of problems. As it can be both, it is often tricky to determine where the stress really comes from and how to deal with it properly.
What’s important to know is that stress affects us in different ways, both physically and emotionally.
Have you ever tried to reduce stress, but without any real effect?
To understand stress and why some techniques are effective and some are not, we need to know its two categories. These categories are very closely linked to each other.
Emotional stress is the feeling of being under abnormal pressure, which can come from different aspects of daily life. Examples are an increased workload, a transition period in your life, a disagreement with a family member, or financial uncertainties. It works like an accumulation of things, one stress factor on top of another.
In such situations, you may feel threatened or angry, and your body may start to trigger a stress reaction. Your body’s response to your emotional status is to release a multitude of stress hormones that make your body react to external stimuli again. This can cause numerous physical symptoms, change your behaviour, and lets you to experience your emotions more intensely than usual.
You may notice that emotional stress has a noticeable physical impact on your body. This is because your body reacts to your thoughts and not just to physical activities or external sensory inputs.
Simply put, if you think “stressful thoughts” and are unable to stop the thoughts (especially with things outside your control), you experience emotional stress.
Physical stress is your body’s response to external stimuli that evoke a “fight or flight” reaction.
Physical stress in itself is not necessarily bad. It can even be enormously helpful. For instance, sports training causes physical stress. But it’s also an outlet for emotional stress. A stress reaction if you are hit by a car while crossing could also save your life.
Eating artificial foods, drinking alcoholic or sugary drinks, smoking, or using illicit drugs can cause negative physical stress.
Additionally, physical training can be a cause of stress. But it may be beneficial for our bodies to experience it regularly, such as when we exercise. Yet it remains a form of stress that. However, when you combine that with other factors, such as improper diet and lack of sleep, it can be bad for our health. Here’s an example. If you start running 10km after a short night with just four hours of sleep during an emotionally stressful week, it may not be optimal for your health. It might be better to do a 5km lap, eat well, and then take another 20 minutes for a good meditation.
Where to start?
So it is clear that stress has different causes and also different ways of manifesting in your life.
In any case, it is always best to deal with your stressors as soon as possible to avoid them from affecting your life.
For physical stress, the following things can be a good start:
- Drink more water, as water stabilizes the body and brain.
- Schedule your physical training when you’re well-rested. It’s also best to do it every week at the same time, as regularity in sports gives the best effect.
- Maintain your day and night rhythm. Sleeping at night is crucial to reduce stress.
The following can help you deal with emotional stress and improve your well-being.
- Plan your entire week on Sunday evening to develop a routine
- Be sure to stick to your bedtime routine and have enough sleep.
- Take time for yourself.
- Prioritize tasks and projects so you know exactly which ones you should do first and those you could do last.
- Whenever possible, delegate tasks.
The first step to effective stress management is to understand how stress affects your life. When you understand where your stress is coming from, you’d be better equip to deal with it.